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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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I was traveling on a street in NYC. There was some type of

Customer Question

I was traveling on a street in NYC. There was some type of large metal wire hanging from a street lamp, that entangled my car and caused $$ damage. My insurance company ony paid for a portion and I had to cover the rest.    I filed a "suit" against the CIty of New YOrk to recover this money, the city said it was a specific contractors job and the contractor was liable not hte city....the contractor conducted an investigation and stated that my claim was denied BECAUSE no one notified this company about the problem before the accident...therefore since they had no knowledge of it, they were not liable...is this true? and if not what statue/law/liability precedent should be cited to retort their claim
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
When you say you filed "suit" can you explain what you mean...did you appear in front of a judge with counsel? Or was this an written request for money?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
sorry - meant filed a claim with the City of New York then the contractor (petrocelli)
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Thanks and sorry for the confusion

It can be difficult to sue a government entity like the city of NY. There are rules that limit what you can do. These same rules will not apply to the contractor...and in general it is much easier to sue a contractor


To answer your question, the reason petrocelli gives is not a legally valid one. If a contractor creates a hazardous condition they are liable for damages incurred because of this condition...it does not matter of someone told them or not.


Think of it...if they were charged with fixing a hole in the street and instead of fixing it they (through neglect) made it bigger and then left...and "no one told them it was a danger" and then a car drives into the hole and a passenger is killed....would they be held not liable since "no one told them"


That is silly


I recommend you sue the contractor

If the damages are less than $5k you can sue in small claims.


Best of luck


Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the green accept button, its the only way I get paid.


P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27164
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
P. Simmons and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks - but can you tell me the specific legal rationale which I can cite.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thanks - but can you tell me the specific legal rationale which I can cite. they are saying it's not a strict liability - municipal contractor defense...b/c they are not liable b/c they did not create it or know about it.....
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Sure This is a negligence claim.

The contractor was tasked by the city to perform some work. IN doing so, the contractor had a duty to exercise reasonable care. Specifically, they had a duty to make sure that the work they performed did not create a danger to others...and if it did create such a danger, to take appropriate steps to ensure no person was harmed. An example goes back to the hole in the street.

If a contractor is tasked with digging a hole in the street, say to work on the sewer lines, they need to take care that others are not injured...if they leave for the evening and do not put forth signs to warn others...and someone is injured...then they can be considered liable for not fulfilling their duty to keep the area safe In the example you give, the contractor working on the pole had a duty to conduct the repair so that it was not a hazard...and if they could not eliminate the hazard, they have a duty to warn others;

From your example, it seems they they did not fix and did not warn FOr that they are guilty of negligence and liable for the damages to your auto     




thanks for accepting and let me know if you have more questions          
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
they are saying that petrocelli never touched this area----they were hired to repair this, and they were not told to repair it hence they are not liable.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Well that makes it a bit different.

Now it seems both the contractor and the city have potential liability.


If the city had a problem with their streets that caused an accident, they can be sued as well. If they tried to get someone to fix it...but it never got fixed, I think the city maintains liability.


I think for this suit, you may need to sue both the city and the contractor. That way if one or both are liable, you can collect



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P. Simmons
P. Simmons
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5702 Satisfied Customers
16 yrs. of trial experience